Silent Stan: sports nut with a record of success

American Stan Kroenke, the new Arsenal owner, has seen instant results at all his other clubs

Sport defines Stan Kroenke. His full name, Enos Stanley, is a homage to baseball players in the 1940s. Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial both played in the famous St Louis Cardinals team that won the World Series in 1942, 1942 and 1946. Kroenke was born in Columbia, Missouri in 1947, son of a businessman and baseball devotee. "I've always had an affinity for sports," he recalled. "Early on I loved to listen on the radio to the Cardinals with my grandfather."

Kroenke, who yesterday spent £240m on Arsenal shares, thereby taking his stake in the club to 62 per cent, was a talented young sportsman growing up in Benton County, once famously scoring 33 points in a high-school basketball game, a record that stood for over ten years.

"At their best, competitive sports teach many valuable lessons about life," he once said. His brightest talents, though, lay elsewhere. He attended the University of Missouri before embarking on the career in retail and real estate which has so far delivered him a fortune of over $2bn and the ownership of a set of professional sports clubs.

Aside from Arsenal, Kroenke owns four significant American teams. In his native Missouri he owns the NFL side St Louis Rams. In his new base in Colorado he has a more expansive empire, including the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and Colorado Rapids of the MLS. At all of these clubs, he has shown a detailed involvement, and a commitment to success that has often extended to a significant personal outlay.

His first meaningful foray into professional sport was in 1995. He was one of a number of people who convinced the failing Los Angeles Rams to move to St Louis, and bought a 40 per cent minority stake in the club. It was a triumph of vision and was fully rewarded within five years. The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, beating the Tennessee Titans 23-16. It was their first ever Super Bowl win.

Emboldened by the success of the Rams, whom he bought in their entirety last August, Kroenke then moved into the sports teams of Denver, Colorado. In July 2000 he invested $450m in both the Avalanche, the Nuggets and the Pepsi Center, which houses both of them. The impact of the Kroenke ownership for the Avalanche was even swifter than it was for the Rams. They won the 2001 Stanley Cup, only the second in their history, as they beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. With the Nuggets, Kroenke demonstrated his commitment to heavy spending on recruitment, paying for Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson. Unlike the other teams in the Kroenke stable, they have won nothing under the ownership of Kroenke Sports Enterprises.

Between the Nuggets and the Avalanche, Kroenke has shown the extent of control he prefers at his teams. He owns their stadium, the Pepsi Center, and in 2004 he launched Altitude, a television network which broadcasts their games as well as those of the Colorado Rapids.

It was 2004 when Kroenke purchased the MLS side, and he oversaw the construction and move to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, a new stadium in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids have flourished in recent years and in 2010 they won the MLS Cup for the first time.

At all of these clubs, Kroenke's commitment to detail was fierce. Mark Warkentien, the Nuggets' vice president, said of his work: "We'll want to get a guy in for a 10-day contract, and Stan will want to know who he is, where he's from, what's his style of play and how we think the player will fit with the team."

In many ways, "Silent Stan" resembles his new manager, Arsène Wenger. They share a strong sense of privacy, a certain bookishness and a commitment to physical fitness that would shame some of their players. As business partner Charles Banks said: "He is one of the most intellectually curious people you'll come across. It's not micro-managing; it's micro-comprehension."





Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power